VIA's Canadian Summertime Enhancements

Elements to surprise and delight travellers

VANCOUVER, May 12 /CNW Telbec/ - VIA Rail is pleased to announce a number of enhancements to its cross-country Canadian train service. From the addition of the Panorama dome car, learning vignettes, Canadian Heritage interpretation to on-board entertainment, these features are sure to deepen memories of traveller's cross-Canada rail experience. This summer there's much more to see and do when you travel by train with VIA Rail Canada.

In addition to the regular Park Car with its scenic dome, from May until September, between Edmonton and Vancouver, Sleeper Touring class passengers will have exclusive use of the train's fully glass-enclosed Panorama cars offering stunning seat-to-ceiling views. For daylight viewing of the Rockies or evening star-gazing, there's no better seat on the train.

The train's activity car is the perfect place for socializing, admiring the ever-changing landscape or engaging in activities meant to enrich the traveller's appreciation of their cross-country journey. Throughout the three-day, four night trip customers can take advantage of the movies, board games available in the Activity Car, and for the younger traveller "Kiddies Hour" is offered daily. Looking for some audience-participation activities? VIA's on-board staff deliver vignettes on subjects that include the Canadian Shield, the Alberta Tar Sands and oil industry, Canadian geography and wine-tasting.

"Crossing Canada by train is recognized as an enviable, unforgettable journey not to be missed", said VIA's Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Steve Del Bosco. "We want to make sure that when our customers reach their final destination, the memories they are taking home to share are about so much more than simply the landscape. These enhancements to our award-winning service are just one of the things we are doing to bring greater value to an already priceless experience."

VIA is also proud to showcase Canadian talent through its "On-Board Musician" program. Performances are open to both economy and Sleeper touring class travellers and normally take place in the train's Activity and Park cars. Guitar, violin and cello are normally the featured acoustic instrument. Due to the nature of the program, performances are dependant upon the presence of a musician on board and may not be available on every departure or leg of the journey.

For more information or to book a trip anywhere in the VIA system, customers can visit viarail.ca. Train tickets are also available at VIA stations across Canada, including self-service ticketing kiosks located at major stations in central Canada. Passengers can also book their tickets by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (842-7245), TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), or by contacting their travel agent.

As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective passenger transportation - in both official languages. Every week, VIA operates 503 intercity, transcontinental and regional trains linking 450 communities across its 12,500-kilometre route network. The demand for VIA services is growing as travellers increasingly turn to train travel as a safe, reliable and environmentally responsible alternative to congested roads and airports.

SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: VIA Rail Media contacts, Catherine Kaloutsky, (416) 956-7683, Catherine_kaloutsky@viarail.ca; Aurelio Macaraeg, (604) 640-3746, aurelio_macaraeg@viarail.ca


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